Written onboard M/T Ek-River July 2010
I did not take any picture on this trip
Breant © Photo Dirk Jankowsky.
Photo from Micke's web page www.faktaomfartyg.crosswinds.net
Breant was built 1979 by Karlskrona Varv AB, Sweden. She was 110,5m long and 16,5m wide. Breant was on 3340 DWT.
When I was on Breant we were hired by Iggesund Product and we loaded trailers with paper and timber in Iggesund. We
loaded at the Skärsnäs terminal at Iggesund. We discharged in
The Skärsnäs terminal
Amsterdam. This was the route while I was onboard. Always the same. Iggesund - Amsterdam via the Kiel Canal.
We always took the way trough Kalmarsund so we did all our crew change there with the pilot vessel in Kalmar.
The Skärsnäs terminal was located close to Iggesund so it was convenient to take a walk or cycle to the village
OK, hold on to your mouse, here we go. I signed on 25th of March in Kalmar. I arrived to Kalmar the 24th of March with the train from Gothenburg. My friend was studying to an engineer and we agreed that I should come and visit him. We went to a few pubs. I can't say Kalmar id a very good place for night life but we cracked a few jokes and then I went to the pilot station.
I should sign on when Breant passed Kalmar on the way to Amsterdam. The pilot should bring me to the ship with the pilot boat. I had a "Power Nap" on a sofa at the pilot station.
I came onboard a few hours before my watch at 12 o'clock. When I came on my first watch they told me not to do any big course alternations and then they left for lunch. Later when I asked why we can't do any big course changes they told me that they lost all the trailers on weather deck when they did a course alternation. The ship was very rank and she almost capsized when changing course.
We always passed the Kiel Canal on the way to Amsterdam and on the way back to Iggesund.
The Kiel Canal or Nord-Ostee-Kanal as it is known in German, is the shortest link between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The original Canal, the Eider Canal, was built in 1784, but was eventually deemed too shallow to accommodate the increasing number of larger vessels. The Kiel Canal was opened in 1895. Over 60,000 ships pass through every year, as well as around 25,000 private yachts during the summer. The Kiel Canal is about 97 km long and 164m wide. We use to calculate 10 - 12 hours for passing the Kiel Canal, Kiel Pilot to Elbe Pilot. Passing time depends on traffic and the tide in Elbe. It's also expensive to pass the canal.
One of those very nice spring days when we were one the way from Amsterdam to Iggesund we stopped in Brunsbüttel for bunker.
I was speaking with the 3rd Engineer and Motorman on deck. Before we know it we agreed that it was I nice day and that it would be nice to have a beer.
- OK, let's go to Kiel with a Taxi, I said.
- Your joking, we cannot go to Kiel.
- I will speak with the Captain. We need money and a case of beer for the trip, I said.
I came back 10 minutes later with a case of beer and my pocket was full of money.
- Captain is taking my watch tonight I told them. They thought that I was joking. We went ashore and ordered a taxi and off we went.
When we arrived there wasn't much left in the beer case. When Breant came to the lock in Kiel - Holtenau we boarded the ship.
I signed off in the evening of 18th of May in Kalmar. While waiting for the morning train to Gothenburg I had to check out the local night life. Not very much to write home about, but it was better than sitting on a bench all night long waiting for the train.
Coming back home to Göteborg and it was all party again. I can't understand how we could afford our life style back then. Always party, working, yes, but signing off the ship and I had already spent all the money while onboard. I never missed an opportunity to go ashore having a good time spending money.
Back then it was a ball, but thinking of it now and it mostly seemed boring. But of course, I'm much older now. But back then it was fun.
Well, should be able to afford a few days at home. Back in the beginning of the 90's Kal P Dal, a Skåne påg was always on full blast. I always had a cassette that I asked them to play when we went to Solrosen, a vegetarian restaurant in Haga, Göteborg for beer. Always fun there, at least when they let me in. Many times they stopped me at the door. Well, I understand, who wants a guy sleeping on the lawn in front of their restaurant?
Friday 24th of June 1992 and its Midsummer and the 3rd Engineer from Breant came to visit me in Göteborg. He arrived with the train from Kalmar and I was at the train station to pick him up. We went back to my place to leave his bag and we had a beer or two. Then we went down to the city.
Midsummer and at the same time the European soccer championship took place in Göteborg between 10 June and 26 June 1992. So there were plenty people drinking beer in the city. Gorgeous weather so all the pavement cafés and bars were full of people drinking beer.
Yes, it was party on town. Well, not like we needed any particular reason to party. But it was more socially accepted to roaming the streets of Göteborg drunk when everyone else was drunk as well.
I don't like soccer, pretty boring, but the atmosphere in the city was great. Beer tents and party everyday around town. Plenty beer and even Aladdin can get a wee bit too much. Yes, it doesn't happen very often, but sometimes.
So I was home sleeping in the sofa when I heard someone trying to climb in through the window above the sofa.
I'm looking out the window and I discovered a girl trying to get in.
- What the
Well, girl, it was more like she was 50 or something, is it possible to get that old. I opened the window and I saw our 3rd Engineer with 2 old ladies. And he lifted one of them so she could reach the window.
It was in the early morning, but, hmm, strange that no one called the Police when they saw these people trying to get in through the window. Well the neighbours were used and I'm surprised that I was still allowed to live in Bjäbben's apartment.
Well, my days were numbered and I was soon kicked out. But that's another story. This midsummer weekend she wasn't home and when the cat is away....
It was time for the 3rd Engineer to return to Kalmar, poor guy. Who wants’ to live in Kalmar? well, anyway, the party continued in Göteborg.
Of course, I didn't watch one single game. But I participated in the parties. More fun to party than to have to sit and watch a 90 minutes soccer match when exactly nothing is happening.
The whole thing ended the 26thof June when Denmark won the championship. And believe me, it was a huge party on town. Originally, Yugoslavia qualified for the final stage, but due to the Yugoslav wars, the team was disqualified and their qualifying group's runner-up Denmark took part in the championship.
Göteborg was full of Danish people celebrating, but on the 27th Göteborg was back to normal. Well, I left for my next ship, M/T Arctic 1 on the 29th of June so never mind.
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